Date: November 17, 2006
Author: Ben Collins

Leftie covets Stonehaven Cup

By Ben Collins, Sportal Richard Green says that winning only the British Open would rival emerging victorious from this week&aposs MFS Australian Open at Royal Sydney. The 35-year-old shot a 69 on day one to put himself firmly in contention and on Friday followed that up with a 71 to remain second and within two shots of leader Nathan Green. Although Green clinched the MasterCard Masters in 2004, the Melbourne left-hander would dearly love to win the Australian Open and has made it clear he will now go all-out to claim a first Stonehaven Cup. “I&aposve put everything in place to try to win here this week,” he said. “It would mean the world to me. I&aposve always wanted to be rated in Australia as a great player and winning the Australian Masters in &apos04 was very special to me.” “I&aposd like to win regular European Tour events and Australian events but the Australian Open is definitely No.1 or two on the list. I don&apost think there&aposs another golf tournament in the world, other than the British Open, that I would want to win now.” Nathan Green led by two after the opening round and at one point led by five on day two, but his namesake dug deep late in his round to get back into a good position heading into the weekend. “I was aware of it (Nathan leading by five) and at the time I wasn&apost really doing anything and I thought I&aposm going to really need to do something over the closing holes,” said Richard. “To make a birdie on 15, set up an eagle opportunity on 16 and not make it, and then birdie 17 was a great way to finish and gives me a chance.” “I really felt I should have made the birdie on 16, so making the birdie on 17 got it back. It was a great shot in there and to knock the putt in on top of that was good.” Green had a quiet end to his year on the European Tour but believes that could work to his benefit heading into the Australasian events. “I&aposm a little surprised at my game,” he said. “I&aposve had quite a lot of time off this last half of the year but I&aposm fresh and I&aposve been looking forward to playing at these Australian events, and maybe the fact that I&aposm fresh mentally has helped me play well.” “I&aposm in a frame of mind where I&aposm just putting one foot in front of the other and concentrating very much on what I&aposve got to do in the moment, and it&aposs working well.”